US 7255666 B2
A Multi-Function Swing Apparatus for Total Body Exercise, Stretching, Yoga, Lumbo-Pelvic Traction, Gymnastics, Inversion Therapy, Therapeutic Rehab, Spinal Manipulation, Partner Play and Sky-chair consisting of a nylon fabric swing device having multiple flexible arm member attachments with omni-directional range of motion, a removable foam cushion insert, a metal trapeze pull-up bar, dual extension springs, and two height adjuster straps made of webbing with multiple loops, all of which is suspended from a swivel hook unit attached to a portable structural support stand made of metal tubing.
1. An extremely versatile multi-function exercise, therapy, inversion, traction, and yoga swing apparatus designed for engaging, supporting, lifting, hanging, stretching, stabilizing, or providing resistance to either all or a portion of the user's body or limbs from a multi-handled swing device which can be suspended from a portable structural support frame in order to allow user to perform any of a large multiplicity of exercises, movements, postures or functions ranging from inversion therapy (hanging upside down), spinal mobilizations, and pelvic or cervical traction to gymnastics, yoga exercises, total body stretching or strengthening, partner play, simple relaxation, and physical therapy or musculo-skeletal rehab, and which said apparatus consists of:
a). one user engagement member comprising a rectangular shaped nylon fabric sling whose central section or saddle portion hangs freely downward once both upper ends of the sling member are releasably secured via spring hooks to both ends of an overhead pull-up bar which hangs horizontally suspended from the support frame, and which sling member has the option to be used either in an open position whereby user can sit or recline inside of it or in a closed position whereby the fabric is wrapped snugly around an optional cushion folded inside the horizontal saddle portion of the sling member, whereupon user can either sit upon, straddle over it, entwine within it, or lean any specific body part against it for any one of its many uses of supporting, hoisting, lifting, rotating, inverting, or suspending either the user's trunk, pelvis, lower limbs or whole body off of floor surface at variable heights, neutralizing the forces of gravity and facilitating the performance of any of the above stated functions, positions, movements or exercises,
b). a rectangular shaped removable foam cushion of 3″×8″×36″× dimensions designed for optional insertion into the fabric sling member by means of rolling and wrapping it snugly within the saddle portion of the sling member in order to provide either a localized or generalized cushioning effect to the spine during spinal mobilizations, or to the waist during pelvic traction, or to the inner thighs during inversion or hanging upside down maneuvers,
c). one user engagement member comprises an overhead, horizontal, metal trapeze pull-up bar element approximately 18 inches in length by 1 inch diameter round, and whose opposing ends are releaseably secured to the main body of the swing apparatus below it and to the dual extension springs above it by means of selectively positioned safe-lock mechanism spring hooks or carribeners, and which purpose thereby is to allow user's hands to grasp onto to perform vertical pull-up exercises, or to hoist body upwards and assist user engagement into the sling saddle, or to allow user's toes to hook onto for greater limb extension or security during inversion therapy maneuvers,
d). six separate rope-like, fully flexible, and omni-directional user engagement arm members made of nylon fabric with polyurethene foam covered hand-grips attached to and hanging freely from the bottom ends once the top ends of said arm members have been releasably secured via secure spring hooks onto either end of the pull-up bar and springs above it; and whereas said six user engagement arm members are comprised of two short overhead arm members whose handle hangs approximately one foot below the level of the pull-up bar, two medium length arm members whose hand-grips hang at approximately the level of the sling saddle or waist height, and two full length fabric arm members having foot stirrups hanging approximately a foot below saddle level; and which function of said arm members having fully flexible, omni-directional ranges of motion are to permit user the greatest variety of function and nearly unlimited combinations of movements and exercises on said yoga therapy swing apparatus,
e). two adjustable protective foam pads covered with a fabric cover secured with velcrose strips that allow it wrap snugly around the vertically hanging sides of the fabric sling member for the dual purpose of clamping the fabric tightly on either side of the removable cushion within the saddle portion of the sling to prevent it from slipping out, as well as to provide a protective cushioning for either the inner thighs of the user while hanging upside down during inversion therapy or to the axillary regions of the user during thoracic mobilization maneuvers,
f). at least two sturdy, closed loop-end extension springs of variable weight loads which are releaseably secured to the trapeze pull-up bar member below and to the swivel hook mechanism which hangs from the apex of the support stand structure above, and which extension springs allow the user to experience a gentle bounce effect and soft end-feel rather than a hard end feel during the various maneuvers, thereby allowing greater comfort, pleasure, relaxation or ease of movement during use of said exercise therapy swing apparatus,
g). two flexible means 3 foot long webbing height-adjuster strap members having a plurality of discrete attachment loops secured in sequential linear alignment thereon, and which height-adjuster straps are releaseably secured and suspended from both ends of the trapeze pull-up bar member, thereby allowing either the fabric sling harness member or any two of the six detachable fabric arm members to be lowered or raised to any height between floor level to waist height by means of the safety spring hooks which insert and detach easily from any one of the sequentially spaced loops in order to allow for selective positioning to specific portions of the user's body or to allow for an even greater variety of maneuvers, exercises, functions or positions possible on said multi-function swing apparatus,
h). one 7′11″ high structural support frame made of 1¼ inch diameter 16 guage steel tubing designed to fit just under the standard 8′ high ceiling, and which frame is comprised of a horizontal steel tubing frame base component which angles and curves so as to form a circular or ‘U’ shape as it rests securely on the floor to form the structural support means for the entire apparatus, and which frame base has three 8 inch vertical steel tubing extensions protruding upwards and at right angles from the horizontal base poles; and which vertical tubing extensions of said frame base serve to house and support the lower female ends of three vertical upright poles which slide and lock into them, and which vertical poles are triangularly spaced apart for structural stability as they arch and bend upward and inward to conjoin at the 7′11″ high apex of said structure by sliding and locking into the three female ends of the top triplex unit, and which top tri-plex unit is comprised of three steel tubing short arm extensions which angle downward and outward in a triangular fashion to conjoin the top ends of the three upright poles; and which all poles and steel tubing of said support frame consist of shorter four foot segments which have swedged joints that slide into one another and pin-lock together quickly and easily via pelvis pins for ease of shipping, assembly and portability,
i.) a single ball bearing swivel hook unit welded to the center and underside of the top triplex unit which sits at the apex of the structural support frame assembly, and which purpose of swivel hook means is to allow an even greater variety of movement and fun on the multi-function swing apparatus, namely turning, spinning, rotating, and twisting exercises or stretches.
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This Device relates generally to Exercise Equipment and more Specifically to Multi-Function Exercise and Therapeutic Equipment that provides for a variety of exercises and therapeutic functions within a single device.
Yoga is a form of postures and exercises practiced to achieve control and balance of the body and mind and spirit along with holistic health and fitness. Patents exists which could be of assistance in performing these exercises including the Ferri U.S. Pat. No. 5,209,712. This patent describes two straps or cables connected to a rectangular bar surrounded by a foam pad and held to a stable structure by “retaining means”. This only provides limited support for the exerciser, and positions of exercise are limited by the rigid rectangular bar around which a foam pad is wrapped. The straps which go between the Ferri Patents' support foam and retaining means are very limiting and provide little maneuverability, comfort, or opportunity for exercise during use.
Steele U.S. Pat. No. 3,593,708 shows a bar with foam padding and straps which connect the device to a bar at the end of the straps which support the device from inside a door opening. This obviously limits the exercisers lateral movement and provides no protection from a jarring motion and no means with which to maneuver, exercise, or bounce.
McDonald U.S. Pat. No. 4,531,514 uses a pulley device with which to lift a person for the purpose of inversion therapy and alleviating back pain. This device limits the person strictly to the position of inversion, eliminating all options of exercise, yoga, or mobilization.
Baumler U.S. Pat. No. 20,030,027,696 is described as a Multi-exercise cable gym system. The cable gym in the Baumler patent uses an arrangement of pulleys and cables in conjunction with weights to achieve exercise results. While described as a multi-purpose exercise device the weight and cable system essentially limits this apparatus to strength training.
Ferri, U.S. Pat. No. 5,209,712
Steele, U.S. Pat. No. 3,593,708
Macdonald, U.S. Pat. No. 4,531,514
Baumler, Pat. No. 20,030,027,696
Several objects and advantages of my invention are to provide a multi-purpose exercise, gymnastic, therapeutic spinal traction and yoga swing apparatus for:
The omni-directional maneuverability of this multi-handled swing device allows one to achieve practically any posture, movement, stretch or exercise imaginable from virtually any conceivable angle or position whether vertical, horizontal, prone, supine, side-lying, inverted, oblique, or any position in between. It also provides a safe and comfortable way to achieve Inversion Therapy. This design allows one to hang comfortably from the waist and pelvis instead of the feet like other Inversion Tables which can be very stressful to the ankles and lumbar spine. The sling may be opened out in a hammock-like shape and allow the user to sit forwards or sideways, beside sitting on the saddle of the sling with the cushion wrapped within the fabric.
A preferred embodiment of my invention shows
Two Extension Springs 34 are attached to Swivel Hook 38 by hook-end through Long Steel Springs 34 opening. Springs 34 is hooked through Sling Webbing Looped Harness 28 are spaced equa-distance from center of Long Teak Wood Support Bar 30. Four rubber 1½″ Positioning Rings 32 hold Sling Webbing Looped Harness 28 securely in place, restricting any lateral movement of webbing loops. Fabric Sling 22 7and Fabric Arm Member with Hand Grip 24 and Fabric Arm Member with Foot Stirrup 26 is attached to Sling Webbing Looped Harness 28 with Overlapping Connection Rings 22 c or Carabener Hooks. Varying Length Fabric with Fabric Arm Member with Hand Grip 24 and Varying Length Fabric with Foot Stirrups 26, with Adjustable Protective Pads 25 used to protect users thighs and arms from rubbing on all parts using fabric, are attached anywhere on Sling Webbing Looped Harness 28. Right and left sides of Fabric with Hand Grips 24 and Fabric with Foot Stirrups 26 can be attached to Sling Webbing Looped Harness 28 at the same elevation as the Fabric Sling 22 or at different heights for different exercises and users. Various sized cushions such as Full Length Cushion 22 b may be substituted for Cushion 22 a allowing user entirely different application possibilities. A Foot “Booty” or Velcro Wrap may be attached to the Foot Stirrups 26 for greater comfort and more secure foothold for certain maneuvers such as simulated skiing or flips.
Height of Fabric Sling 22 or Hand Grips 24 or Foot Stirrups 26 can be raised as high or as low as desired for engaging in different usages or exercises including but not limited to lowering the Fabric Sling 22 just a few inches off the floor for applications such as lumbar-pelvic traction (
Angle of Frame Base 42 is approx. 75–90 degrees. Overall height is approx. 8 feet tall and 3 to 3½ feet wide. The frame base is designed to fit in the corner of any room in the house, just under standard 8′ ceiling height and without taking up much floor space. The rear pole fits snugly against the corner of the room and the front two poles fit alongside the two adjacent walls. The 3 vertical poles curve in 45 degrees out the top and join together to lock into a base assembly via plevis pins. The rear pole is spaced approx. 4 feet from each of the front 2 poles, and the 2 front poles are spaced 5 to 6 feet apart. The 2 horizontal frame base poles have an angle anywhere between 75 and 90 degrees and extend out 3 feet beyond the 2 front vertical poles, then curve forward and inward to provide the proper stabilization. The rear pole can be strapped to the corner stud of a structure by means, for example, of an eye-bolt. The base may be divided into sections for shipping purposes, as can any length of frame assembly, and re-assembled through hole and pin connections, for example.
Above description describes one embodiment, the preferred embodiment. Alternatively, different materials and connections can be substituted for the parts and materials specified
There are numerous variations on exercises possible with the Multi-Function Swing Apparatus. Listed are a few of the possible use combinations.
Yoga Postures, Gymnastics and Stretching
The user may mount the Swing Apparatus from any one of several approaches. In
Hammock Style—Fabric Sling 22 may be opened and spread wide apart and fastened between two trees or any two sturdy stationary objects. The user climbs in the Fabric Sling 22 and lies down comfortably inside the opened Fabric Sling 22 as a hammock type function.
Tantra Yoga Weightless Coupling—See
Accordingly, the reader will see that this invention allows for many different types of exercises and therapeutic functions to be performed. Also the invention allows the user an almost unlimited variety of positions from which to exercise making it the most unique and ultimate Swing Exercise Apparatus on the market.
Some of the advantages of this invention which are unique include:
Maneuverability—other inversion units are allow little room for movement, while this invention is designed for total body movement, and a virtual infinite range of motion in all directions.
Exercises and stretches are unlimited in the sense that new movements, stretches or exercises will continue to be discovered as the user herself increases in strength, flexibility, agility and ability to do more.
Comfort—This unit is more comfortable due to the use of springs and a thick foam or cotton cushion in the apron sling.
Spring Action—Extension springs (or bunji cords) not only make it fun to play on but give added comfort for a smooth, gentle and cushioned bounce effect during use. No other known patented version uses springs in this fashion.
Inversion Therapy—Our very Life begins with 9 months inverted and bouncing gently with every step mother takes, so inversion is an original and natural state as any other. Perhaps that's why it is so relaxing, therapeutic and feels so good. Besides allowing one to hang comfortably from the pelvic-waist area instead of by the feet as with other inversion units, the superiority of this design allows you not only to hang either forward and backwards during inversion, but also one can flex, extend or rotate the trunk in order to accomplish stretching, strengthening and joint mobilization of the spine. No other inversion device has such maneuverability or variety as this. The best existing inversion devices are very limited in mobility and fixed in space (see U.S. Pat. No. 3,593,708 and U.S. Pat. No. 4,531,514). Multiple handles and a pull up bar attached to the swing apparatus at various levels allow for a greater variety of stretches, exercises and movement pattern combinations than any other known exercise device. The nearest design and competitor to my invention is U.S. Pat. No. 5,209,712, and shows only one handle on their design.
Multi-purpose—A hammock-like option becomes available for relaxation by simply removing the thigh pads, secured by velcro, and seat cushion, then suspending either end of the sling apart between two trees, using the cushion for a pillow.
Portability—My Multi-Purpose Exercise Gym is compact and lightweight it can be transported in a knapsack or luggage to be set up from any big branch of a tree during camping or from any rafter, beam or ceiling frame in any building. The optional support frame structure is also lightweight, portable, adjustable and easy to reassemble.
Adjustability—not only can the multiple handles be adjusted in height levels, but the sling or apron can be adjusted in height or width to accommodate different exercises, movements or uses.
Neuro-Muscular Re-education—due to the multiple handles and postures and movements this apparatus affords makes it an ideal physical therapy device for neuromuscular re-education, re-patterning, exercises, and rehabilitation.
Floating Meditation—no other patented device affords the option for suspended or floating meditation as this invention does.
Spin Capability—no other inversion or exercise device uses an optional swivel hook to hang pelvic sling from, which gives it the added capability of spinning while upright or inverted.
Tone Bands and other props—Attached to the support frame at varying heights are bunji-style tone bands which allow for a variety of resistance exercises of the trunk and extremities. The poles work themselves as props and handles for even more exercises, poses and stretches.
Versatility—My invention provides a wide variety of applications and exercises including yoga, inversion therapy, strengthening, stretching, gymnastics, meditation, hammock use, skychair use, fun, proprioceptive exercise training and neuro-muscular re-education.
Options—Optional accessory exercise props which are not attached to the device can be utilized with this yoga blocks, dumb-bells, therapy balls, shoulder-stand and handstand devices.